Guest Opinion: A marital scandal rocks the world
First there was Bill Clinton, who risked his marriage with a series of illicit sexual encounters that he couldn’t quite give up even after he made it to the White House. Then there was Anthony Weiner, who risked his marriage and destroyed his reputation by sexting nude photos of himself to numerous women, at least one of them underage.
Now, there is another marital scandal rocking the political world.
Vice President Mike Pence, we have learned, will not dine alone with a woman not his wife! And he won’t attend any events where alcohol is served unless his wife is also present!
Oh, the humanity.
Pence actually made those remarks in a 2002 interview, but they went largely unnoticed since he was a mere congressman at the time. But a Washington Post reporter doing a feature recently on Mrs. Karen Pence did a tweet of them as a promotion of the feature, and social media just exploded.
To those on the left, this was blatant paternalistic sexism on Pence’s part. He objectifies women as nothing more than temptations that men must avoid. Furthermore, he doesn’t have a very high opinion of men, either, if he thinks they can be so easily led astray. His unequal treatment of women is discriminatory and possibly illegal. If he won’t be alone with women, that means he won’t give them an equal shot at the best jobs.
To those on the right, Pence is to be commended for trying to “build a zone” of respect around his marriage. He is showing strength of character not to put himself in temptation’s way or to even give the appearance of impropriety. If more marriages were treated the way the Pences treat theirs, this would be a much better country.
Really, how divided have we become that we can be at each other’s throats over something this personal?
The truth is, the Pences are evangelical Christians, and this rule is practiced (or at least preached) a lot in those circles, so this is nothing outlandish; evangelicals make up about 25 percent of the country.
If this were, say, a rule set and followed by an extremely devout Muslim man, wouldn’t there be calls to tolerate and respect his religious beliefs? Doesn’t an evangelical Christian deserve the same consideration?